US carrier WR Berkley has reported a slight uptick in gross written premium (GWP) for the quarter, despite the reinsurance segment narrowing by 15 percent in the three months of the year.

Greenwich

At group level GWP inched up by 2 percent to $1.98bn for the quarter compared to the same period in 2017.

The carrier said that the pricing environment remained exceptionally competitive in the reinsurance sector, with WR Berkley reducing reinsurance GWP to $141.4mn for the first three months of 2018, down from $166.8mn the prior year.

The shrinking reinsurance book was partially offset by top line in the insurance segment, which grew nearly 4 percent to $1.84bn in the first three months of the year.

The combined ratio improved by 1.1 points in the quarter to 94.6 percent from the same three-month period in 2017.

This combined ratio included 0.5 loss ratio points from catastrophes and an additional 0.7 loss ratio points from non-catastrophe weather events.

Net income at the carrier was up for the quarter, climbing 35 percent in the three-month period to $166mn.

WR Berkley said that similar to other carriers, it experienced a higher level of non-catastrophe weather-related property losses in the quarter.

However, losses stemming from catastrophes nearly halved in the quarter compared to the same period last year – down from $14.3mn in the first three months of 2017 to $7.1mn this year.

“Our first quarter results have provided a solid start to the year. The market is slowly moving in the right direction, and we anticipate that these trends, and consequently our results, will improve further during the remainder of the year,” WR Berkley said.